* Global temperatures to be 0.48 degrees C above average
* 2011 was 11th warmest year on record
LONDON Jan 4 This year could become one
of the top 10 hottest since 1850, with global temperatures
expected to be almost half a degree Celsius warmer in 2012 than
the long-term (1961-1990) average of 14 degrees, the UK's Met
Office said on Wednesday.
The prediction follows provisional figures published by the
Met Office and University of East Anglia last month, which
showed that temperatures in 2011 were 0.36 degrees above the
long-term average to make it the 11th warmest year on record.
"2012 is expected to be around 0.48 degrees warmer than the
long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14.0 degrees, with a
predicted likely range of between 0.34 and 0.62 degrees," the
Met Office said.
"In 2011 we saw a very strong La Niña, which can temporarily
cool global temperatures. The La Niña has returned, and although
it is not as strong as early last year, it is still expected to
influence temperatures, (and) we expect 2012 to be slightly
warmer than last year but not as warm as 2010," said Adam
Scaife, head of Monthly to Decadal Forecasting at the Met
The Met Office said its figures for 2011 were close to those
published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which
put the global average temperature at 0.41 degrees above the
The WMO lists 2010 as its warmest year on record, and all of
its 12 warmest years fall between 1998 and 2011. The Met Office
also includes 1997 in its top 12.
The World Meteorological Organization based its figures on
three global average temperature datasets, which came from the
Met Office as well as the U.S.'s National Climatic Data Center
and NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein, editing by Jane Baird)